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Ahmed went missing in Tripoli near the very beginning of the uprising. His family now believes that he was arrested on February 22 and taken to the notorious Adu Salim prison with many others. At the time they assumed he had been shot dead and disappeared by soldiers, mercenaries or one of Qaddafi's security services, like so many others.

So when a member of one Qaddafi's revolutionary committees told Ahmed's father, "We have your son, he is being held at Abu Salim prison. If your family does not come out to demonstrate on Friday you will never see your son again.", they paid him no never-mind and an extended clan of around 50 adult males and family refused to attend the rally. A few hours after the rally Ahmed's still warm body was dumped outside the family home with two bullets in his head.

Many other families received similar threats. "We did not think it was possible that he (Ahmed) was still alive, we thought the guy was just making threats," said Mohammed, Ahmed's uncle who was interview by AFP.


Mummar Qaddafi held a huge support rally in Tripoli on Friday, July 1. According to his supporters more than one million Libyans rallied in Green Square to be treated to a recorded speech from the great man. Other observers more realistically put the numbers at between 15,000 - 30,000. There are also a lot of questions about how many of that number were rallied to the square.

The Internet was quickly flooded with reports like this one, Muammar Qaddafi Speech to Millions in Tripoli on 1st July 2011, and various versions of the Libya state TV video of the event like the popular HUGE PRO GADDAFI RALLY in Tripoli - Raw Footage. When I say popular, I mean popular in terms of the number of times it has been copied and promoted. Various versions of this 1:47 minute YouTube video seem to have sprung up like mushrooms in the days following the rally. It, in turn is an edit from the Libya State TV coverage of the rally and there are other longer versions to be found on the Internet. They all share a number of features. They are all edits of the Libyan State TV coverage and the video quality, by which I mean resolution, is terrible. I have not found one that isn't fuzzy and lacking in detail.

As with the Pro-Qaddafi rally in Tripoli of June 17 and the Libyan state TV video of that I debunked here, this would appear to be the only video of this event. I have only found one independent video linked here but it doesn't show anything like numbers being claimed by the Qaddafi people.  What is again missing from this pro-Qaddafi rally in Tripoli is the proliferation of cell phone videos that usually result from mass rallies in MENA these days.

With regards to the one video that is being offered as proof of this million person rally, in a city of a million and a half, it raises more questions than it answers. While it is very fuzzy, and that makes detailed technical analysis very difficult, and while it is most often labeled "Raw Video," it is anything but. It is captioned and highly produced.

I found the camera sweep used in the beginning of the above "Raw Footage" video very intriguing, so I posted a request to the Doculink documentary flimmaker list for a second opinion:

[DOCULINK] How was this scene shot?

I am looking at some footage of the big rally in Tripoli, July 1st. The camera work in the first 34 sec. of this video looks very interesting but I can't figure out how it was done. Can anybody help me?

Here are some of the responses I got back:
Looks like either a long jib or a crane. Probably the former. It's a bit funny that they're using what's basically music video gear it to cover a protest rally.
Since it's pro-Gaddafi, looks like the government spared no expense and probably used a crane. It's like a well-produced rock concert shot. Maybe some CGI at the end?
Yeah, especially as it goes very wide and overhead... I'd say crane rather than jib... do you think someone is cueing the crowd wave?
So the Libyan government "spared no expense" in producing this video. Somebody is obviously working overtime to make sure it it posted everywhere and Qaddafi's people aren't making sure a clean, convincing, high resolution version is easily available? Curious!

The reference to "some CGI at the end" is a suggestion that some of the large crowd scenes at the end were the result of computer-generated imagery, which is the way we "create" large crowds in the movies these days. I had the same question myself. Many of the scenes have the look and feel of the kind of thing generated for computer games these days and the large crowd scenes definitely have a CGI quality to them but without a clear copy it is hard to draw any conclusions and much is based on what you think you are seeing.

In an earlier diary I had criticized the Libyan State TV video of the June 21 rally for not having any crowd noise mixed in with Qaddafi's recorded speech. This one was an improvement it that regard. Then there is also this odd bit: HUGE PRO GADDAFI RALLY in Tripoli - Why is there the flag of France in the green square in Tripoli? This 11 secs of the Libyan State TV coverage highlights a French flag flying at the pro-Qaddafi rally. That certainly is odd given that France has been first among the NATO counties in fighting Qaddafi.

That is about all I have been able to find out about this one video that seems to be all the Qaddafi supporters have to backup their claim of a million people in the rally in Tripoli on July 1, 2001.

There have been other reports. This is what The Free Generation Movement - حركة جيل الاحرار reported: [Saturday, July 2, 2011 at 12:03pm]

Initially there were numerous reports that there was various video editing involved in order to create the illusion of a larger crowd. Members of the Free Generation Movement were present at the event and can clarify that there was no video editing involved and that the crowd was indeed large.

Similarly, international media was present and felt there was no conflict between their images and that of State TV.

Cameras were placed at an angle that would present the crowd in a favourable light, but no comprehensive editing was involved.

There are verified reports from Free Generation members of multiple buses bringing people in from outside of Tripoli. Whilst this is a verified report, other rumours regarding the source of the crowd cannot be verified by us.

The crowd was estimated to be around 10,000 strong.

Whilst admittedly this was a large, pre-planned, and well orchestrated event, it still represents less than one percent of the Tripoli population, if indeed the participants were from Tripoli.

Similarly, Gaddafi’s continued reluctance to address “his people” in public and resort to audio from hidden locations is further indication that he is feeling the ever increasing pressure upon his already defunct regime.


at Libya Alhurra Updates a Tripoli revolutionary reported [from English transcript]
First of all, first the people that demonstrated are around 30,000. When we got out [at the beginning of the events] our number was far larger, then he was shooting at us. The people that demonstrated for him couldn’t fill the river stadium.
...
This crowd wasn’t manipulated, this crowd gathered because he bought his mob from all over Libya and put them in one place. It shows that he is a state of desperation. He did this for the foreigners, he knows Libyans will not be fooled. He did this to give the impression that his people love him. If he thinks his people love him, why doesn’t he let us demonstrate and he will see who loves him and who us against him.
...
I hope our families ignore the divisions that G is trying to create. In his protest, there wasn’t a single sign that mentioned people of Tripoli, the signs all had people from other places like Mashaysha, Warfalla, Tarhouna, etc.

According to one tweet Qaddafi was paying 50LYD ($40) for demonstrators from Tripoli and 150LYD($120) for people who came from out of town.

Other estimates of the rallies size were read on Twitter. @Guma_el_gamaty twitted "just spoke to foreign journalist who saw friday rally in tripoli they estimate max. 15000. digital manipulat. on libyan tv image used by G!" 3 Jul I heard 13400 - 13800 headcount from satellite imagery. (Not sure if that is even possible) 3 Jul

And this is what I have been able to learn so far about the HUGE PRO QADDAFI RALLY in Tripoli on July 1 and the "Raw Footage" that purports to show a million Libyans turning out to show their support for fearless leader.

If you have anything that could add to this knowledge. I would be happy to hear about it.

Here is a recap of my other DKos dairies on the Internet, North Africa and Anonymous:
Did Qaddafi Bomb Peaceful Protesters?
Tripoli Burn Notice
Libyans, Palestinians & Israelis
'Brother' Qaddafi Indicted plus Libya & Syria: Dueling Rally Photofinishs
An Open Letter to ANSWER
ANSWER answers me
No Libyans allowed at ANSWER Libya Forum
Are they throwing babies out of incubators yet?
Continuing Discussion with a Gaddafi Supporter
Boston Globe oped supports Gaddafi with fraudulent journalism
Doha summit supports Libyan rebels
Current Events in Libya
Who's running Egypt?
Amonpour Plays Softball with Gaddafi
Californians Support North African Revolts
Google Supports Revolts | Anonymous does too!
Secret U.S. Intelligence Source on Middle East Revealed !
Arming Gaddfi
Are "mutinous officers" are being executed in Egypt now?
Algeria's 19 year long State of Emergency to end soon, President says
Senior Egyptian Army Officers Ordered Massacre!
Tales of Tyrants: Ben Ali, Mubarak & Suleiman
The Mubarak Screw Up & the Suleiman Danger
BREAKING: Mubarak is Defiant
The Google Search for Wael Ghonim
Tunisia's Revolution Continues
Google Goes Rebel, Supports Egyptian Protest
Tunisian Anonymous activists take on Egyptian cause
Protesters roar back with "Day of Departure" for Mubarak
Act Now to Stop Mubarak's Thugs From Killing More! w Petition
Act Now to Stop Mubarak's Thugs From Killing More!
They Should Have Helped That Street Vendor
Million Egyptian Protest Planned as Resistance Continues
Huffington Post Disses the Jasmine Revolution Redux
No Internet? No Problem! Anonymous Faxes Egypt
Egypt is on Fire!
North African Revolution Continues
Egypt Protests Continue, Tunisia Wants Ben Ali Back
BREAKING: Protesters Plan Massive "Day of Wrath" in Egypt Today
Tunisians Thank Anonymous as North Africa Explodes
Huffington Post Disses the Jasmine Revolution
Tunisia: A Single Tweet Can Start A Prairie Fire!
Anonymous plans Op Swift Assist in Tunisia
Arrested Pirate Party Member Becomes Tunisian Minister
Is Libya Next? Anonymous Debates New Operation
Tunis: This Photo was Taken 66 Minutes Ago
The WikiLeaks Revolution: Anonymous Strikes Tunisia
EMERGENCY: DKos Must Act Now to Protect Tunisian Bloggers!

Originally posted to Linux Beach on Thu Jul 07, 2011 at 07:10 PM PDT.

Also republished by Community Spotlight.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Zenga, Zenga (6+ / 0-)

    Well, Daffy Gaddafi said he would call the 'millions from the desert' - I guess this was his attempt at it. His hour is drawing nigh, may it be soon.
    Stupid thing about that blackmail - they should have given proof that the family member was alive and then they might have gotten his relatives out to the rally. I feel for them - they are not responsible in any way, but it really wouldn't have hurt much if they had gone to the rally and their loved one might still be alive and with hope of rescue when the government falls. Gaddafi is one sick, evil bastard.

  •  Qaddafi's very bad, but.... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    BigAlinWashSt, Blue Wind

    We have our own fascism brewing in the US. War is not something progressives should waste money and energy supporting when Social Security, Medicare, the environment, civil rights and basic services are under attack from the Koched up GOP.

    Cities are good for the environment

    by citydem on Fri Jul 08, 2011 at 09:37:59 AM PDT

    •  We don't have the luxury of just saying we will (4+ / 0-)

      ignore massive genocide that we clearly could stop (and did) at minimal cost because of (1) the erroneous claims that it costs too much to save lives, (2) that since we have not stopped every genocide in the history of humanity that we have no right to ever try stopping a new one, or (3) just jerk knee pacifism. We should be very proud that we defeated Gaddafi...despite right wing and left wing fanatics being united in opposition against it. He would be very luck to last until the end of the month.

      Doing my part to piss off the religious right...one smart ass comment at a time.

      by tekno2600 on Fri Jul 08, 2011 at 10:07:22 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Where's the proof of this massive genocide? (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Euroliberal, Blue Wind

        And what do you mean that we defeated Gaddifi, is there some breaking news somewhere?

        S.A.W. 2011 STOP ALL WARS "The Global War on Terror is a fabrication to justify imperialism."

        by BigAlinWashSt on Fri Jul 08, 2011 at 10:27:44 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  laying siege to your countries biggest cities (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          tekno2600, joe from Lowell

          usually doesn't end well for its residents

          "See? I'm not a racist! I have a black friend!"

          by TheHalfrican on Fri Jul 08, 2011 at 10:35:16 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Genocide is well defined. Just looking for the (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            yaque

            proof that Gaddifi was intent on committing genocide as French President Sarkozy said.  

            S.A.W. 2011 STOP ALL WARS "The Global War on Terror is a fabrication to justify imperialism."

            by BigAlinWashSt on Fri Jul 08, 2011 at 10:39:41 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I am not going to get into a lawyer game. You can (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              joe from Lowell, yaque, Athenian

              argue all you want about how much proof there is. Turning artillery on a neighboring city like Benghazi, which happens to be in a tribal areas that traditionally has had rivalries with Gadaffi's tribe is an act of genocide. It's in the news papers. Look it up. Summary execution of soldiers in their barracks (because they happen to belong to the wrong tribe) is genocide. Again, look it up. If you want to claim this didn't happen, show me. But, I am not going to waste time trying to provide indisputable proof to something which has already been confirmed by sources from around the world. If we waited for some people to be satisfied with perfect proof, all the people opposing Gaddafi would be dead and the evil dictators would always win. It is a good thing we wised up here and did not over learn the lessons of Iraq so much that we let another Rwanda occur.

              Doing my part to piss off the religious right...one smart ass comment at a time.

              by tekno2600 on Fri Jul 08, 2011 at 10:50:23 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  You're right, those who say genocide are (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Pozzo, blue book

              probably exaggerating. Is that your point? Mass murder, even when the numbers reach into the thousands, isn't always technically genocide. I agree you have a point. Those that screamed 'genocide' after Qaddafi killed 2000 in Benghazi were wrong. It was just mass murder. You're right.

              I stand amazed at how far the pro-Qaddafi people will go to make a point.  

              Remember history, Clay Claiborne, Director Vietnam: American Holocaust - narrated by Martin Sheen

              by Clay Claiborne on Sat Jul 09, 2011 at 09:47:56 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  Before the unamious UN Security Council vote (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          joe from Lowell, yaque, vets74, Athenian

          that authorized using force to protect the Libyan people against Gaddafi, at least 7,000 civilians had been killed by the military systematically terrorizing its population. When we finally intervened, Gaddafi had encircled Benghazi with artillery and was promising a blood bath that would make all the previous bloodshed look like nothing. It doesn't make any sense to try to argue against these obvious facts. It does not advance the cause of peace. In this case, you are dealing with a homicidal maniac, where the only way to save lives is to kill the SOB and his mercenary henchmen.

          BTW, yes there is news about Gaddafi. Tripoli has been cut off, oil flow has stopped, and the rebels are closing in. There is no where for Gaddafi to go. That POS is going down, unless either liberal fanatics demand we stop now and snatch defeat from the jaws of victory, or right wing fanatics demand we cut a deal to give Gaddafi immunity.

          Doing my part to piss off the religious right...one smart ass comment at a time.

          by tekno2600 on Fri Jul 08, 2011 at 10:38:44 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Liberal fanatics huh. That's where we're at all (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            citydem, Euroliberal

            right. They better quit demanding we stop these wars.

            S.A.W. 2011 STOP ALL WARS "The Global War on Terror is a fabrication to justify imperialism."

            by BigAlinWashSt on Fri Jul 08, 2011 at 10:41:06 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I want to stop unjust wars, but our actions in (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              joe from Lowell, yaque, Athenian

              Libya are probably the most just use of force in recent times and the so called peace activists are out to lunch on this. They would literally be saying, "Hands off Rwanda" if we had tried to stop that genocide. Then, they'd claim it was all about oil (even though there is none in Rwanda). Want proof? Libya's your proof. You only cry about genocide after it happens. When you have a chance to stop it, you cry "No More War." We cannot let opposition to unjust wars turn into irrational knee jerk pacifism, even in situations where intervention thousands of lives.

              Doing my part to piss off the religious right...one smart ass comment at a time.

              by tekno2600 on Fri Jul 08, 2011 at 10:56:55 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Well, this is just why we can't stop any wars (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                citydem, vets74

                right here.
                P.S.  I'm a veteran, not a pacifist.

                S.A.W. 2011 STOP ALL WARS "The Global War on Terror is a fabrication to justify imperialism."

                by BigAlinWashSt on Fri Jul 08, 2011 at 10:59:01 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  So if you cannot stop all wars, you cannot stop (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  yaque, vets74

                  any wars? That doesn't make a lot of sense. By that logic, you could not have opposed Hitler, because that would require war. Maybe we should not even give police officers guns.

                  Thank you for being a veteran. I just hope that your experience has not turned you against ever trying to use righteous force to save lives.

                  Doing my part to piss off the religious right...one smart ass comment at a time.

                  by tekno2600 on Fri Jul 08, 2011 at 11:07:11 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

            •  "These wars" is just ignorant. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Pozzo

              Take a look at this chart.

              There is absolutely nothing about the humanitarian mission in Libya that requires you to stop supporting withdrawal from Iraq and Afghanistan.

              Art is the handmaid of human good.

              by joe from Lowell on Fri Jul 08, 2011 at 12:05:08 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  Proof of something we avoided? (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Pozzo

          What would proof of something that was avoided look like?

          Art is the handmaid of human good.

          by joe from Lowell on Fri Jul 08, 2011 at 12:13:55 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I don't know. Where's the evidence it WAS going (0+ / 0-)

            to happen?  

            S.A.W. 2011 STOP ALL WARS "The Global War on Terror is a fabrication to justify imperialism."

            by BigAlinWashSt on Fri Jul 08, 2011 at 12:25:26 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  The burning hulks of tanks outside the city? (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Pozzo

              Gadhaffi's promise to go door-to-door, alley-by-alley through the city?

              The use of multiple rocket launchers against dense residential neighborhoods in Misrata?

              All of the information that led Human Rights Watch and Samantha Powers, author of "A Problem from Hell," to issue dire warnings that a grave massacre was imminent?

              Art is the handmaid of human good.

              by joe from Lowell on Fri Jul 08, 2011 at 12:59:54 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  I don't know that it was technically *genocide*... (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          joe from Lowell, Pozzo

          ...under the precise meaning of the term (i.e., trying to wipe out one particular ethnic group), but I think it's difficult to dispute that Ghaddafi, if he hadn't been opposed, would have committed mass murder.

          •  Technically, you're right. Because of Stalin! (0+ / 0-)

            No, seriously: back in the 40s, when the UN was drawing up the international law against genocide, the original draft included "ethnic, racial, religious blah blah blah" and also "political" identity.

            The USSR, for rather obvious reasons, didn't like that too much, and refused to endorse the convention unless that language was removed.  So it was.

            Not really the United Nation's proudest moment.

            Art is the handmaid of human good.

            by joe from Lowell on Fri Jul 08, 2011 at 02:24:54 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  War hurts innocent people (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        BigAlinWashSt, tekno2600, Blue Wind

        I appreciate your concern for injustice in Libya, but do not share your confidence in the US sorting things out for the better. Vietnam, Nicaragua, Iraq and Afghanistan all started as short interventions that got complicated and led to the death of many thousands of innocent people. I suggest the US declare a moratorium on invading other nations for awhile.

        Cities are good for the environment

        by citydem on Fri Jul 08, 2011 at 10:59:05 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I would agree with your basic argument. But, I (4+ / 0-)

          think and I hope that what we are seeing in Libya is a very different approach to US foreign policy. We have not invaded. We have avoided escalation of the intervention. In fact, we have deescalated and worked instead in a support mission with a multinational coalition. I think that this could be the basis of a more principled policy going forward: (1) do not intervene for greed or imperialism; (2) intervene only as a last resort, to protect lives and support democracy, even if it costs money and opens you to political attack from liberals and conservatives; (3) use a multinational coalition; (4) get UN approval; (5) keep involvement limited, i.e. no invasion / occupation; and (6) work with the legitimate representatives of the oppressed people, rather than dictators and their enablers. I think a lot of innocent people were saved by this and I think when this is over you will see that the Libyan people approve of the help they have received and will have much better relations with America and Europe in the future.

          Doing my part to piss off the religious right...one smart ass comment at a time.

          by tekno2600 on Fri Jul 08, 2011 at 11:21:49 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  We aren't sorting things out. The Libyans are. (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Athenian, Clay Claiborne, Pozzo

          I suggest we declare a moratorium on invading other nations, too.

          In fact, it's specifically because we aren't invading Libya, and are forbidden from doing so by the UN authorization, that I'm willing to support this intervention.

          Remember during the Iraq War, when the neocons kept accusing us of not supporting democracy?  And the answer was, "Of course I support democracy in the Arab world, but we can't impose it from the outside.  It has to come from democratic reform movements from within."

          Well, here it is.  I didn't just give that answer because it was a convenient thing to say in a debate with a neocon.  It's what I actually believe.  It's why I supported the protesters in Egypt, why I supported the protesters in Tunisia, why I supported the protesters in Libya, and why I kept on supporting them when Gaddhafi started slaughtering them.

          Art is the handmaid of human good.

          by joe from Lowell on Fri Jul 08, 2011 at 12:08:52 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  we aren't invading Libya (0+ / 0-)

          While I agree with you re invasions. We aren't invading Libya.  Neither is NATO. And there was going to be war whether we and NATO got involved or not.

    •  Sort of a "screw you, I got my own worries" thing. (0+ / 0-)

      Not very impressive coming from a progressive.

      Art is the handmaid of human good.

      by joe from Lowell on Fri Jul 08, 2011 at 12:01:57 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Actually don't screw anyone (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        BigAlinWashSt

        I say don't screw anybody including ourselves. US military or CIA interventions in Cuba, Dominican Republic, Guatemala, El Salvador, Vietnam, Cambodia, Chile, Grenada, Nicaragua, Iran( Mossadegh's removal 1953),Lebanon twice, Iraq twice and Afghanistan all had unpleasant and unpredicted outcomes. WWII and the Korean war are the exception where almost all historians agree the US provided vital help that led to greater peace and justice.
        The militarization of the US has continued even after the Cold War ended. No nation has invaded as many other nations as the US in the last 60 years. The US has military bases in over 90 counties and has a military budget bigger than the rest of the world's other nations combined. I am not a pacifist. I served in the US Army from 1971 to 1977. We need a military to defend our country, not to intervene in others.

        Cities are good for the environment

        by citydem on Fri Jul 08, 2011 at 01:27:06 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  UN nonintervention in Rwanda, East Timor.... (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Clay Claiborne, Pozzo

          and, for too long, Bosnia had very predictable, much-more-unpleasant outcomes.

          This almost libertarian belief that there are no sins of omission, only sins of commission, just doesn't fly.

          Anyway, your last paragraph is the same sort of attitude that I thought the reality-based community is supposed to avoid.  Facts matter.  Details matter.  The particular circumstances of a situation, and of the proposed action to address that problem, matter.  Just having the proper ideological orientation towards "war" or "militarism" as abstract concepts isn't good enough, just like the libertarians' argument "urban renewal was bad, so all government efforts to relieve urban poverty are bad" isn't good enough.

          We were wrong to use drones to stop Gaddhaffi's forces from firing rockets into residential neighborhoods in Misrata because of Mossedegh?  That doesn't make any sense.

          Art is the handmaid of human good.

          by joe from Lowell on Fri Jul 08, 2011 at 02:30:20 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  The Libya invasion is part of the Long War. It's (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TheHalfrican

    a step in the overall agenda of complete hegemony over the MENA area and on into Africa.
    Gaddifi is one thing but this invasion is another.  No way is the primary purpose about humanitarianism.  People should understand that regardless the propaganda from all sides.

    S.A.W. 2011 STOP ALL WARS "The Global War on Terror is a fabrication to justify imperialism."

    by BigAlinWashSt on Fri Jul 08, 2011 at 10:25:59 AM PDT

    •  what "invasion" (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      joe from Lowell, yaque, Athenian

      "See? I'm not a racist! I have a black friend!"

      by TheHalfrican on Fri Jul 08, 2011 at 10:31:49 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  How can you say that after we turned our backs... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Clay Claiborne, Pozzo

      on our long-time allies in Egypt and Tunisia?

      How can you posit that our foreign policy in response to Arab Spring is being driven by a desire to exert hegemony, when our actions have been exactly the opposite?

      Something important happened in American foreign policy this spring.  If you're going to posit some grand theory, it needs to be able to explain why we actively helped to push out Mubarak - the anchor of our regional influence - and protect the protesters he tried to crush.

      Art is the handmaid of human good.

      by joe from Lowell on Fri Jul 08, 2011 at 12:12:16 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Whew. It would take me quite some time to (0+ / 0-)

        respond to that and I don't think it would be productive.  We'll just have to disagree.

        S.A.W. 2011 STOP ALL WARS "The Global War on Terror is a fabrication to justify imperialism."

        by BigAlinWashSt on Fri Jul 08, 2011 at 12:18:03 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Do you trust Juan Cole? (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Athenian, Clay Claiborne

          You might remember him from the Iraq War, and from being spied on by the Bush administration.

          Go check out www.juancole.com to see what he has to say about this.

          Art is the handmaid of human good.

          by joe from Lowell on Fri Jul 08, 2011 at 03:06:10 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Do you trust Bill Kristol, John McCain, Joe (0+ / 0-)

            Leiberman, William Kagan, Dick Cheney?

            S.A.W. 2011 STOP ALL WARS "The Global War on Terror is a fabrication to justify imperialism."

            by BigAlinWashSt on Fri Jul 08, 2011 at 03:51:24 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Sounds like an excuse. Their opinions mean nothing (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Clay Claiborne, tekno2600

              Unlike Juan Cole, who was a big opponent of the Iraq War and a longtime critic of US foreign policy, the people you list have exactly the same opinion about every war (sort of like you, come to think of it).

              Noting that Dick Cheney supports a war tells us nothing about it, except that it is a war.

              Thought experiment: let's say that the US is involved in the most noble, pure, decent, necessary, justified military action you can imagine.  Fill in the details yourself, but it's that rarest of things, a just war.

              What does John McCain say about that war?  Does he say, "Oh, no, we shouldn't be fighting this war!" and vote agaisnt it?  Of course not!  Why, he supports it, of course! It's a war!

              Pointing out that Joe Lieberman is for a war is like pointing out that PETA is against a pork chop recipe; their opinion doesn't tell us a damn thing, because their opinion would be the same regardless.

              Anyway, I double dog dare you to go read the scary, scary juan cole blog.  Oh, no, don't do that!  No, don't bother to read the opinion of someone who's done a great deal to establish his credibility, but who disagrees with you!  Stay in a comfortable little cocoon, and that way you won't ever have to challenge your prejudices.

              Art is the handmaid of human good.

              by joe from Lowell on Fri Jul 08, 2011 at 04:24:47 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  I think you're missing my point. Those neo-cons (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                joe from Lowell

                support this for a reason and it isn't humanitarian.  Thus obviously there are other reasons that the neo-cons want this war.  Doesn't that concern you at all?

                And knock off with the childish insulting talk.  You want to debate, fine.  

                S.A.W. 2011 STOP ALL WARS "The Global War on Terror is a fabrication to justify imperialism."

                by BigAlinWashSt on Fri Jul 08, 2011 at 04:37:02 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  And my dog supports going for a car ride. So? (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Clay Claiborne, Pozzo, tekno2600

                  That doesn't have anything to do with why I'm putting him in the car, or where I'm going to go.

                  They support this war because it's a war and we're in it.  It's central to the neocon mindset to believe that any war we win expands our influence and power.  They think this about good wars; they think this about bad wars.

                  Is that observation supposed to make it a bad idea to prevent tens of thousands of people from dying in Libya?  Is it supposed to make the cause of the Libyan protesters a bad one?

                  Do you think the Libyan people themselves were crying out for help, and cheering when we started giving it them, because of John McCain's fevered imaginings?

                  Art is the handmaid of human good.

                  by joe from Lowell on Fri Jul 08, 2011 at 06:31:26 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                •  "Concern you at all?" Yes, skepticism is good. (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Clay Claiborne, Pozzo, tekno2600

                  It's a wise impulse to ask the question you're asking.

                  But skepticism is supposed to make you look closer and demand more information before drawing a conclusion.  It's not the same thing as reflexively answering the question negatively.

                  By all means, look at all of the facts, don't take John McCain's word for it.

                  Check out what Juan Cole has to say.

                  Art is the handmaid of human good.

                  by joe from Lowell on Fri Jul 08, 2011 at 06:35:11 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

      •  Please. The US (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        BigAlinWashSt

        was holding on for Mubarak (and regime in the form of the Suleiman succession) to the almost bitter end.  

        Only when it became clear that the protesters weren't going away, in the context of perfect clarity that any bloodbath would have US fingerprints all over it, did Mubarak leave office, in a deal that happened to leave Mubarak's military in control (with US blessing).  

        Protesters are back in Tahrir as we speak, because the revolution is being stolen.  Right on schedule.

        Obama's war construct in Libya is about stuffing the Arab Spring Genie back in the bottle, by reasserting industrial military violence as the sole and necessary arbiter of change.

        Please don't feed the security state.

        •  That's simply not true. We urged him to go... (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Athenian, Clay Claiborne, Pozzo

          weeks before he stepped down.  We also had our military officers contacting their peers in the Egyptian Army to encourage them to refuse orders to use force against protesters.

          Consider the example of Pakistan, and Bush's full-throated backing of Mushariff when the crowds were protesting him.  Did you hear Bush say he had to go?  He was saying that if a popular government took over, it would endanger the Afghan War.  He was threatening us with al Qaeda getting Pakistan's nukes.  That is what it looks like when our government.  Did you hear Obama say one single word about the Muslim Brotherhood being a threat?

          You've got your narrative, and it's based on good history from the past, but it doesn't match the facts of this year.  Our reaction to events, as it evolved in Tunisia, through Egypt, and towards Libya, Yemen (another ally we urged to leave) and Syria has been very, very different from how American hegemony-protecting policies in the region, and in places like Latin America, has always worked.

          Certainly, we're doing our best to look out for our interests - what country isn't? - but this administration has clearly decided that doing so does requires us to be on the side of the uprisings.

          Art is the handmaid of human good.

          by joe from Lowell on Fri Jul 08, 2011 at 02:37:50 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I just don't agree. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            BigAlinWashSt

            I think you're too friendly to Obama.  I don't recall any timely insistence that Mubarak should leave coming out of Clinton or Obama.  Just a wait and see balancing act.

            The fact that Suleiman was the administration's chosen successor, a figure enmeshed in the very bowels of Mubarak's torturing security state, speaks to the truth of our values set re the Arab Spring more than anything I can say.

            Sadly, and it is to their great discredit, not to mention a crime against possibility, Obama and Clinton seem to be all about maintaining continuity in US foreign policy, with the very most rightly reviled initiatives and values of the hated Bush regime continued.

            Please don't feed the security state.

            •  Re libya (0+ / 0-)

              The uprising, so far as it strove for civil society and democracy in Libya (as in Egypt) was over a long time ago.  It might have been a flower of hope and democracy at some point.  Not anymore.  The uprising was over in spirit the moment it became about violence rather than peaceful resistance.

              Ghaddafi's decision to counter change violently must be taken in context of a West champing at the bit to make Libya a contest of industrial, mechanized violence.  The spirit of the Arab Spring in Libya was throttled at birth, by consensus.

              Please don't feed the security state.

              •  That is a disgusting comment. Shame on you. (4+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Athenian, blue book, Clay Claiborne, Pozzo

                Look, comfortable American on his computer (like me), it's all well and good for you to tut-tutt about "violence rather than peaceful resistance," but those people were actually being slaughtered in the streets when they decided to fight back.

                How dare you chastise those brave people for not cowering in their homes or marching off to be murdered, but instead trying to overthrow their tormentors?  How dare you?

                Art is the handmaid of human good.

                by joe from Lowell on Fri Jul 08, 2011 at 03:04:37 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  I'm not chastising anyone (0+ / 0-)

                  except perhaps your heroes in the Obama Administration.  

                  The slaughter in the streets was carried out by the same Ghaddafi who we were for all intents simultaneously doing oil and arms deals with.   The escalation of violence doomed any local/democratic aspirations.  This is a fact, not an opinion.  I will maintain that this was as much in line with demonstrated, continuing US policy values in the region as with any desire of Ghadaffi.  

                  That you seem able to draw a bright line between what Ghadaffi is about and what we are about in the region speaks to a studied and ridiculous historical naivete.

                  How dare you.

                  Again, the spirit of the Arab Spring in Libya was throttled at birth.

                  Please don't feed the security state.

                  •  My heroes are fighting and dying in Libya. (3+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    blue book, Pozzo, tekno2600

                    And you keep throwing out the same trite insult about my motives because you can't argue the facts.

                    The escalation of violence doomed any local/democratic aspirations.

                    You haven't the foggiest idea what you're talking about.  You don't have even a passing familiarity with the facts, and don't need to lecture anyone about what is and is not a fact.

                    The "escalation of violence" happened when Khadaffy sent tanks, artillery, and aircraft to fire on peaceful protesters.  Since you clearly don't know the facts, let me give you one: more people died in the three weeks before the NATO intervention than in the three months since it began.  Escalation of violence?  Stop checking your gut, and learn something before you mouth off next time.

                    That you seem able to draw a bright line between what Ghadaffi is about and what we are about in the region speaks to a studied and ridiculous historical naivete.

                    And there we have it: your admission that you don't need to know anything about or consider the facts about Libya, because you have your comfortable little storyline that is so familiar, and don't need to be bothered to see if it apples here.  You're just going to assume that it does, because golly, it's just gotta.

                    Don't lecture me about historical knowledge, son.  It's precisely because I'm so familiar with this country's history of promoting hegemony that I recognize the differences that mark our actions in North Africa.

                    Art is the handmaid of human good.

                    by joe from Lowell on Fri Jul 08, 2011 at 04:16:51 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Please. (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      BigAlinWashSt

                      Where am I lecturing over facts?

                      So we're helping in Libya.  

                      Were we also helping in Iraq?

                      How about Af/Pak?

                      Don't lecture me about historical knowledge, son.  It's precisely because I'm so familiar with this country's history of promoting hegemony that I recognize the differences that mark our actions in North Africa.

                      This is rich.  You haven't countered a single statement I've made demonstrating continuity between Obama and his predecessors, or attempted to address my central premise: that this intervention in Libya does not support the Arab Spring, is nothing like the Arab Spring, but runs diametrically counter to the spirit of the Arab Spring.

                      What is so hard to grasp here?

                      If Suleiman truly means nothing to you, then you do have central values in common with the Obama Administration (and its predecessors) which I really cannot begin to address.

                      Please don't feed the security state.

                      •  No, we weren't helping in Iraq. (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        tekno2600

                        That you'd even ask such a question proves my point better than anything I could possibly write.

                        You've made no effort to educate yourself about the actual facts of the two cases, and you don't think you need to in order to know what you believe.

                        You can just assume the two are exactly the same thing, because you don't think any facts beyond "it's a war" is worth knowing before making up your mind.

                        Hundreds of thousands of ground troops vs. none?  Occupying a country and installing a government vs. leaving it to the locals?  Overthrowing the government ourselves vs. following the lead of the protesting public?  

                        None of that matters to you, cuz there are, like, men with guns, dood.

                        Thank you for the demonstration.

                        Art is the handmaid of human good.

                        by joe from Lowell on Fri Jul 08, 2011 at 06:18:58 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                      •  There is nothing remotely hard to grasp here. (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        Pozzo

                        I'm not disagreeing with your juvenile argument because it's beyond my comprehension; I'm disagreeing with it because it's dumb.

                        You haven't countered a single statement I've made demonstrating continuity between Obama and his predecessors

                        You haven't made any statements demonstrating anything.  You've just offered your assertion over and over and over.  What do you want me to say, nuh uh?

                        And just how many times would you like me to bring up the vast distinction between the Pakistan situation and our response to Arab Spring before you do anything but pretend not to see it?  You can keep asserting I haven't done this all you want; it won't actually make my argument disappear.

                        this intervention in Libya does not support the Arab Spring, is nothing like the Arab Spring, but runs diametrically counter to the spirit of the Arab Spring.

                        Thank you for sharing your feelings, American at his computer.  Oddly enough, the actual Arab Spring protesters in Libya believe exactly the opposite of that.  They gathered in Benghazi and celebrated when our intervention began.  They - the people who've actually been in the streets and put their lives on the line for Arab Spring - keep calling for us to intervene further, by more directly providing air support.

                        But you don't know that, because you can't be bothered to actually learn anything about them, or heaven forbid, listen to what they have to say.  No, you have your pretty little story and you're sticking to it, and screw them.

                        The only thing you've written that comes within sniffing distance of reality is that you cannot even begin to address what I wrote.  Hell, you can't even repeat it accurately ("Suleiman means nothing to you?"  Huh wuzza?) when you have the damn comment open on your screen.

                        Art is the handmaid of human good.

                        by joe from Lowell on Fri Jul 08, 2011 at 06:25:25 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  I really don't have the comment (0+ / 0-)

                          open on my screen.  FWIW.

                          You seemed to gloss over Suleiman, without countenancing at all the significance of his choice as the Obama Administration's successor to Mubarak.

                          Please don't feed the security state.

                          •  Not a successor, a caretaker till elections... (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            tekno2600

                            which he's not running in.

                            There wasn't any kind of government-in-waiting able to step in and keep the state operating when Mubarak stepped down, so the Egyptians - in an agreement with protest leaders - picked a well-known, apolitical, non-party guy to act as a manager until a new government was elected.

                            I'm not thrilled that it's the head of the secret police, either, but he isn't the successor.  He'll be retired in a couple of months.

                            Art is the handmaid of human good.

                            by joe from Lowell on Fri Jul 08, 2011 at 07:05:13 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                      •  I always find it interesting that the supporters (3+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        Pozzo, tekno2600, blue book

                        of the pro-Qaddafi/anti-NATO view are always so quick to turn to personal attack. Which I take it you mean by "you do have central values in common with the Obama Administration (and its predecessors) which I really cannot begin to address."

                        Otherwise it's a stupid charge. Do you think the Obama Admin wants to see life on Earth continue? Then I have "central values in common"..etc.

                        You see how stupid you can become when you let opposition be your guide? You might even end up defending a mass murder as not being guilty of genocide. Here's a song for the Qaddafi supporters. Sung by Qaddafi to the tune of "I shot the sheriff."

                        I killed ten thousand,

                        But I did not commit genocide.

                        I killed ten thousand

                        But I still have anti-war folks on my side

                        Help me out with new verses here.

                        Remember history, Clay Claiborne, Director Vietnam: American Holocaust - narrated by Martin Sheen

                        by Clay Claiborne on Sat Jul 09, 2011 at 12:08:27 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                  •  yes (0+ / 0-)
                    Again, the spirit of the Arab Spring in Libya was throttled at birth

                    By Ghadaffi.

                •  btw (0+ / 0-)

                  before you accuse me of taking a cavalier approach to death in war, please consider that you're the one currentlyt supporting industrial slaughter in Libya.  You're the one whose administration is pursuing regime change and the violence that will ensue, instead of peace.  Finally, you are also the one supporting an administration perfectly willing to sacrifice the lives of innocents, in Iraq, in Af/Pak, and in Libya, for cheap and dubious reasons.

                  •  Only Gadaffi is conducting "industrial slaughter" (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Pozzo

                    i.e. bombarding cities with massive amounts of artillery. You know very well that NATO's operations to stop him are far more surgical and limited. The intention is the opposite of industrial slaughter. You discredit yourself by claiming that the NATO mission has anything to do with industrial slaughter. Anti-war fanatics need to search their consciences and think: If NATO stopped dead in its tracks right now and Gadaffi remained in charge of Libya, would there be more killing or less killing in the days, months, and years ahead. If you are honest, you know Gadaffi would kill massive amounts of people if he had the chance. If you demand all NATO actions in Libya stop, the blood of his victims is on your hands. What kind of a peace activist stands up for a serial killer?

                    Doing my part to piss off the religious right...one smart ass comment at a time.

                    by tekno2600 on Sat Jul 09, 2011 at 05:35:16 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

              •  To my eye, the Obama Administration (0+ / 0-)

                seems much more comfortable and assured with the unfolding war in Libya than they ever were about the peaceful demonstrations Egypt.

                Please don't feed the security state.

              •  Bullshit. The violence started when Gaddafi (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                blue book, Pozzo

                ordered his forces to disperse unarmed protesters with anti-aircraft weapons and will end when he does, hopefully before the ICC. Try following some Libyans on Twitter, get into their minds and souls before saying stuff like that again.

                We spend money we don't have on things we don't need to create impressions that won't last on people we don't care about. Tim Jackson

                by Athenian on Fri Jul 08, 2011 at 03:13:42 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  The violence (0+ / 0-)

                  started, continued and grew.  Just like we, as much as Ghadaffi, like it.

                  If you think the Libyans are in store for anything approaching democracy or local control under the aegis of US hegemony you're banking against both history and our proven values.

                  Please don't feed the security state.

                  •  Don't feel like arguing. Let's revisit this (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Pozzo

                    when the fighting in Libya is over. It should not be too much longer, the rebels are less than a hundred clicks from Tripoli.

                    That said, anything would be better for Libya and its people than more Gaddafi.

                    Cheers

                    We spend money we don't have on things we don't need to create impressions that won't last on people we don't care about. Tim Jackson

                    by Athenian on Fri Jul 08, 2011 at 03:40:34 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Fair enough. (0+ / 0-)

                      Unlike US Administrations since the onset of the Global War on Terror, unlike arms dealers, unlike oil corporations, unlike the Governments of France and Italy, I'm not a Gaddafi supporter or apologist, either now or in the past.

                      If you aren't skeptical about US motives and the likely outcome in Libya you haven't been paying attention.  

                      Obama is no different.

                      Obama like prior US Administration could've been doing all kinds of things, for years, to help the people of Libya.  Things like making arms/oil deals contingent upon human rights.  They didn't and it speaks volumes to what we're about.

                      Where was Obama in the months before the uprising in Libya?  Greasing the skids for arms/oil deals and looking the other way.  Now the militarist planets have aligned and an opportunity to derail the Arab Spring has risen and suddenly it's go time.

                      Please don't feed the security state.

                  •  This is not about US (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    blue book

                    "under the aegis of US hegemony"

                    You are giving the US a power it simply does not have in this situation. Certainly the US and NATO are jockeying for position but this is not their show.

                    This "step aside Libyan Uprising, NATO is the main thing now" attitude among some "anti-imperialists" is just another form of great nation chauvinism. It insists on seeing US at the center of everything. Believe me, from the Arab point of view, we are nor.

                    Remember history, Clay Claiborne, Director Vietnam: American Holocaust - narrated by Martin Sheen

                    by Clay Claiborne on Sat Jul 09, 2011 at 12:20:25 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

              •  The government firing on peaceful protestors (0+ / 0-)

                tends to change the nature of an uprising.

            •  Let's assume what you write is true, for the... (0+ / 0-)

              sake of argument.

              "Just a wait and see balancing act."

              OK, is "a wait and see balancing act" how Bush reacted to the protests in Pakistan?  Is "a wait and see balancing act" how our Cold War presidents reacted to popular uprisings in countries with allied dictators, like Iran?

              As for Suleiman, he's the head of a caretaker government until the elections.  He hasn't been installed in power.  Even the Muslim Brotherhood, the likely winner of the next elections, is ok with that setup...until the elections.

              As for your last paragraph, you're simply not paying attention to the facts if you think that our response to protests has been like Bush's response to the protests in Pakistan.  And never mind Gaddhaffi!  Bush was courting him and opening up the door for oil contracts.

              Art is the handmaid of human good.

              by joe from Lowell on Fri Jul 08, 2011 at 03:00:51 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  It's a small distinction. (0+ / 0-)

                If it was up to the Obama Administration, Mubarak would undoubtedly still be in office.  Do  you really mean to argue this?

                Obama's intervention in Egypt was weak at best and counter-revolutionary for most of the proceedings.

                That there wasn't a bloodbath doesn't exactly support claims that Obama is some kind of change maker or even better than Bush would have been.  US ties with the Mubarak regime are too obvious, and the protests too disciplined, for there to have been a more vigorous repression.  Too many TV cameras.

                Again, this is small or no distinction, and certainly does not support an assertion that Obama has been a friend to the Arab Spring.

                Please don't feed the security state.

                •  Yes, I mean to argue that. Are you nuts? (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Pozzo

                  Nobody forced the Obama administration to have our military use its influence on the Egyptian military to protect the protesters.  Oh, is taking the gun out of the hand of the dictator when he tries to crush the revolution "counter-revolutionary?"  That's funny - I've watched plenty of American presidents throw down with counter-revolutionaries, and that's not how it works.

                  You clearly have your story and are sticking to it, but what you're writing makes no sense.  

                  Art is the handmaid of human good.

                  by joe from Lowell on Fri Jul 08, 2011 at 04:10:56 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  I do have my story, (0+ / 0-)

                    and it's based in history and maybe you can counter it at some point instead of attacking me and posing as some kind of historical god.

                    Like I already said, the ties between the US and the Mubarak regime were far to obvious for there to be active, brutal repression.  There was no gun in Mubaraks hand, except the one he exercised for years and years with US support and approval.  Including the Obama Administration.

                    At the same time, the protesters were too disciplined to fall into the sort of violence that would offer an excuse for repression (even for US libruls) and too connected through alternate media outlets to be misrepresented by the forces of status quo.  

                    Mubarak (and his friends and apologists in the White House) held on as long as possible, hoping the protesters would go away short term, but ultimately banking on the long game.  Brutality, thankfully, was not a real option in Egypt.

                    This is history.  This is what I observed, and what I've explained.  Maybe you can come up with something compelling in response besides personal refutations.

                    Where was Obama before the uprising in Egypt?  In bed with Mubarak.   Just like Bush.  Trying to cast Obama as a champion of democracy in the middle east simply is not warranted.

                    Please don't feed the security state.

                    •  Your story is based in history, all right. (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      blue book

                      Just not in the history of Arab Spring in Egypt.

                      What you described isn't even remotely accurate.  Obama and Clinton tossed Mubarak over the side long before the protesters made him step down.

                      Pointing out, over and over and over, that the US backed him before it stopped backing him doesn't really demonstrate very much, except that we changed our stance at some point.  Well, no kidding.

                      There was no gun in Mubaraks hand, except the one he exercised for years and years with US support and approval.  Including the Obama Administration.

                      And then we used our influence to take it away.  Did you know that Mubarak actually ordered the army to clear the square, just like Khadaffy, and they refused?  Actually, it's clear you do not, since you seem to think that "alternative media" was going to stop him, but you're free to google the matter.  This has been widely reported.

                      Funny, that: the heavily-US-subsidized army suddenly stopped taking orders from the well-connected general who was president, and oh by the way, this just so happened at the same time that the administration was saying he had to go publicly, and working behind the scenes to arrange for his peaceful exit.  Oh, and also going on were thousands of phone calls from American officers to Egyptian officers with whom they'd trained and studies, urging them not to obey orders to kill the protesters.

                      All a big coincidence, though.  Really, the administration was just terribly upset by all of this, and did nothing to make it happen.

                      Where was Obama before the uprising in Egypt?

                      Giving the Cairo speech, in which he said that change needed to come, that the United States supported democratic change, and that the era of support for dictators was ending?  I guess you missed that, too.

                      In bed with Mubarak.

                      Yes, BEFORE THE UPRISING - that is, before there was a strong democratic movement that made the possibility of getting rid of the dictatorship a possibility - Obama was continuing the longstanding relationship between the US and Egypt.  Certainly, his actions came in response to the protests, no question.  I don't see why this is supposed to be a refutation of the point that he changed our policy in response to Arab Spring.

                      Didn't you learn from the Iraq War that we can't impose democracy by ourselves, and that we have to follow the lead of local democratic movements?  Nope, Obama didn't take the lead in spreading democracy himself, like Bush thought he could do: he acted in response to the popular uprising.  As he should have.

                      Nice, for a change.

                      Oh, but there is one item of continuity between Bush and Obama: both of them were funding civil-society movements, sort of like the ones George Soros used to fund in the Eastern Bloc, for years before the uprisings.  A little more history that you don't seem to have bothered to find out.

                      Art is the handmaid of human good.

                      by joe from Lowell on Fri Jul 08, 2011 at 07:25:14 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

    •  It's a funny sort of invasion... (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      vets74, joe from Lowell, Pozzo

      ...that doesn't actually involve anyone invading.

      •  Never mind a few thousand (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        vets74, BigAlinWashSt

        bombing sorties and CIA coordination (if not outright ownership) on the ground of "revolutionary" activities.

        This is the same Ghaddafi the West was doing arms/oil/immigration control deals with until shortly before he became a raping monster.

        Who knew?

        Please don't feed the security state.

        •  Remember Saddam Hussein ? (0+ / 0-)

          Same difference.

          Oily.

          Angry White Males + Crooks + Personality Disorder psychos + KKKwannabes + "Unborn Child" church folk =EQ= The Republicans

          by vets74 on Fri Jul 08, 2011 at 01:53:56 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Saddam made noise (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            BigAlinWashSt

            about controlling oil.  

            Ghaddafi has his version of socialism, which doesn't include bowing down to the IMF and global capital.  That, and the desire of the West to steer the Arab Spring into more comfortable, military contractor friendly, strutting War President friendly, controlled direction made Ghaddafi a target.

            Not that Hussein and Ghaddafi weren't assholes.  But they are hardly distinguished there, from us and among our bestest of friends.  Count the bodies.  In Iraq, Afghanistan, Vietnam.

            Oily.  Sleazy and transparent also.

            Please don't feed the security state.

          •  Our oil companies had been in Libya for years. (5+ / 0-)

            Haliburton was making a fortune.  John McCain was visiting Tripoli and tweeting that Gadhaffi was "an interesting man."

            If we wanted oil and oil contracts, all we had to do was politely avert our eyes as the oil dictators slaughtered his opponents.  Lord knows we've done it before.

            But not this time.  Thank God, not this time.

            Art is the handmaid of human good.

            by joe from Lowell on Fri Jul 08, 2011 at 02:44:22 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  Sorties? That's an invasion now? (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Athenian, blue book

          Words mean things.  Invasion means to go into a place and take it over.  That is most plainly not happening.

          I've seen this country invade plenty of places.  Iraq.  Panama.  Grenada.  Afghanistan.  This isn't what it looks like.

          This is the same Ghaddafi the West was doing arms/oil/immigration control deals with until shortly before he became a raping monster.

          And shortly before that, he was on the list of state-sponsored terrorism and our oil firms were banned from doing work there.  Is your point that our policy towards him changed?  Yep, it sure did.

          Before Arab Spring, were were engaged in a years-long thaw with Gadhaffi.  When the protests reached Libya and grew large, we were urging his exit.  When he started slaughtering his people by the thousands, we agreed to a military mission to stop him.  Are you seriously arguing that we shouldn't have changed our policy towards his government on account of the massacres?

          That's cold, man.

          Art is the handmaid of human good.

          by joe from Lowell on Fri Jul 08, 2011 at 02:42:24 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  No way! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    BigAlinWashSt

    Qaddafi uses propaganda!  What an evil, evil, person!  The US would never do that.

    I've changed my mind - clearly this illegal war of aggression (Iraq Pt 2) is a just move after all.

  •  If the entire weight of NATO cannot (0+ / 0-)

    get rid of this creep who rules a country of approximately 8 mil people, then we should roll up the doors and shut down NATO and use the money elsewhere.

    Just unbelievable?  What a paper tiger that was created with billions of our dollars.  Could anyone write a more absurd script?  I don’t think so.

    And to think NATO’s purpose was to stop the old Soviet Union. Jeeze those guys could have rolled  through Europe with headphones playing Grateful Dead hits while on acid.

    A total and frightening joke.

    •  The entire weight of NATO is not involved (0+ / 0-)

      The US is doing very little right now. And some countries aren't contributing anything at all.

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